Singapore, Albania and Ukraine sign the Hague Convention on Child Abduction treaty


February 2, 2013

Source: neurope.eu

The Hague Convention on Child Abduction, the main international treaty that covers international parental child abduction, today came into force between Australia and three additional countries: Singapore, Albania and the Ukraine.    

ukraine

As Attorney-General of Australia, Nicola Roxon stated: “Child abduction cases are incredibly complex, but the Hague Convention can play a role in helping to resolve these very difficult cases. I’m pleased that the Convention is now in force between Australia and Singapore, Albania and the Ukraine. This creates a stronger process to resolve international parental abduction cases, and will assist with access arrangements across these international borders.” And added: “The Australian Government is committed to ensuring the return of Australian children who are wrongfully removed to, or retained in, another country.”

The Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is a multilateral treaty, aiming to protect children from the harmful effects of abduction and retention across international boundaries by facilitating their return to the country where they normally live. The treaty also foresees that issues of residence and contact can be resolved by the courts of the child’s residence country.

Abducted_American_japanese-children

Consequently, parents whose children were abducted to Singapore, Albania and the Ukraine before  February 1, 2013 may be eligible to apply for contact with their children under the access provisions of the Hague Convention.

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Christmas A Time of Parental Child Abduction Risk


November 3, 2012

Source: SOS Childrens Villages 

It`s only a few weeks until Christmas. We know that many children will be abducted this holiday season. We urge you to be aware of the risk, and take precautions. Martin Waage, ABP World Group Ltd.

This post is from December 2011.

A European Union official has commented on the region’s work on international parental child abduction at the same time that security actors have warned parents to be vigilant about protecting their children over the holidays.

International child abduction is on an upward trend and the Christmas season is one of the higher-risk periods for parental abduction—particularly when it comes to multi-cultural relationships.

Yesterday, the European Union (EU) Commission Vice-President (Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship), Viviane Reding, made a statement on the issue in Strasbourg.

“Preventing child abduction is an essential part of the EU’s policy to promote the rights of the child. I welcome the initiative of the European Parliament Mediator for international parental child abduction,” she said.

Within the EU, the International Law Association (ILA) Regulation mandates courts within EU member states to not refuse an order to return a child to his or her state of origin, if within the EU.

While the laws do not prevent or solve all cases of international parental child abduction, disputes between EU member states are solved more efficiently and swiftly, Ms. Reding noted.

Among the improvements made to the legal system is the removal of the exequatur rule.  This has allowed for a shorter time period in which courts may recognize and enforce judgments made by another state.

In international cases related to child custody and parental abduction, the Hague Convention applies. All EU member states are state parties to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, and more countries are gradually signing on.

The Convention aims to protect children from the harmful impacts of abduction and retention by providing a protocol for international cooperation for their return to their country of origin.

According to a press release circulated by PR Web, the ABP World Group (which is an international leader in security matters related to child and adult abduction recovery) is warning parents worried that the other parent may illegally leave the country with their child to use new technology, such as GPS tracking devices, to protect their children.

Martin Waage, Managing Director of ABP World Group, stated, “With international child abductions happening at a record pace, ABP World Group urges parents to take every precaution to protect their children from this horrible fate.”

“Tragically, the number of global parental abductions occurring is an unknown due to failures by governments to keep accurate data,” he added.

However, using the situation in the United States as “microcosm” for the rest of the world, there could be as many as 125,000 children illegally abducted between now and 2020. In Canada, these numbers alone could reach 12,000-15,000, based on current reported cases with a modest 20 per cent growth factor, said Mr. Waage.

While Canada is also a signatory to the Hague Convention, though many countries in the Middle East and Asia are not. 

 

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Kidnapping and Terror in The Middle East and North Africa: Foreign Office raises Egypt terror threat


November 3, 2012

Source: The Guardian

Egypt terror threat raised from medium to high after series of deadly militant attacks across north Sinai.

The Foreign Office has raised its terrorism warning for visitors to Egypt from medium to high, particularly urging Britons against travel to the Sinai region, after a recent spate of militant attacks.

The change comes on the same day that a report revealed that police in Egypt had foiled a plot by al-Qaida-linked militants to attack tourists in the popular Red Sea coastal resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. The Mirror said the attack, involving firearms and rocket-propelled grenades, had been planned for Christmas.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said she could not comment on any link, adding that changes to travel advice were based on “a number of sources”.

While Sharm el-Sheikh is on the southern tip of the Sinai peninsula, it and other nearby resorts, Taba, Nuweiba and Dahab, are excluded from the Foreign Office advice against travel to the region.

The Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that on 2 November we amended our travel advice for Egypt. Our advice makes clear that there is a high threat from terrorism in Egypt.”

Its website says: “Although security is tight throughout the country, especially in resort areas, there remains a high risk of attacks, which could be indiscriminate, including in public places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers such as hotels and restaurants.”

The advice warns against all travel to north Sinai, where there have been attacks on security forces near the border with Gaza and Egypt, including one which killed 16 soldiers.

The advice says that even in south Sinai security has deteriorated this year, with a number of hijacks and kidnaps away from resort areas.

Egypt has been trying to rebuild its tourism industry after last year’s widespread unrest ended the long rule of Hosni Murbarak as president.

Last month the antiquities minister, Muhammad Ibrahim, reopened the restored pyramid of Chefren and six tombs at Giza, using the occasion to stress the country’s safety for tourists.

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Barn blir bortført fra Norge: Norske barnebortførere i Spania


September 3, 2012

Kilde: Bortført.no

Vi ser en økende trend der norske foreldre bortfører barn til Spania. Hensikten er som regel å sabotere samvær. Bortførerne livnærer seg som oftest på trygd, samt underholdningsbidrag dersom de er kvinner.

Spania er medlem i Haag-samarbeidet for retur av bortførte barn, men rettsprosessene er treige. Derfor benytter mange seg av av private operatørers hjelp for å få barna hurtig tilbake til omsorgsforeldrene i Norge. Geirs sønn ble bortført til Spania….. ( Kommer på TV2`s Dokument2 Onsdag 5 September klokken 21.40)

Geir gikk gjennom en konfliktfull barnefordelingssak, som endte med at han fikk daglig omsorg for sin 10 år gamle sønn. Moren har tatt i bruk alle slags skitne triks for å sverte faren, med påstander om vold, overgrep og drapstrusler. Men politietterforskning og rettsbehandling avdekket at morens påstander ikke hadde noen forankring i virkeligheten.

Etter å ha tapt i retten, satte moren i gang en kampanje på nettsiden ”Olivers Verden” hvor hun hevder at hun og sønnen er sviktet av systemet, og at sønnen ikke har blitt hørt av retten. Dette på tross av at det er grundig dokumentert at gutten ønsker å bo hos sin far. Som “bevis” la hun frem timevis med selvproduserte videoavhør, hvor sønnen forklarte detaljert om de angivelige overgrepene.

I dommeravhør, og i samtaler med rettsoppnevnte psykologer, fortalte gutten imidlertid at moren hadde instruert ham til å fortelle alle disse løgnene om faren. Les Geirs historie her.

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Durham woman charged with kidnapping grandson in Hollis, arrested in Windsor, Connecticut


August 2, 2012

Source: naushuatelegraph

On Wednesday 8/1/12 at approximately 3:30PM the Hollis Police Department received a call regarding a possible parental kidnapping that had occurred.

Information received indicated that a 4 year old male child had been removed from the State by his mother contrary to a court order issued in the 9th Circuit Court, Nashua Family Division.

Hollis Police Patrol and Detective Division coordinated an immediate investigation in an attempt to locate the child. Over the following 8 hours, the child was tracked to a hotel in Windsor Locks Connecticut, where he was allegedly being concealed by a family member. Police officers began a dialogue with that family member in an effort to have the child returned to the State of New Hampshire and to the custody of his father, as ordered by the court. While this was ongoing, the Hollis Police Department applied for and was granted a felony arrest warrant for the family member that was concealing the child. Efforts to have the family member turn the child over to law enforcement voluntarily were unsuccessful and with the assistance of the Windsor Locks Connecticut Police, the missing child was located at a hotel in their town at approximately 11:00PM.

Arrested on a Fugitive From Justice charge in Windsor Locks, CT was Sandra Thorne, age 67, of 10 Watson Road in Durham, NH. The child is identified as Thorne’s grandson and was unarmed and in good condition when found. The child was returned to the custody of his father, John Testa. Thorne was held by the Windsor Locks Police Department in Connecticut overnight where she was due in their court this morning. Thorne faces extradition to New Hampshire to face charges of Interference with Custody, a Class B Felony.

The investigation in this case is ongoing and additional charges are possible.

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Summer Holiday Is Parental Child Abduction Season


Child Recovery Services

Tragically International Child Abduction has reached global epidemic proportions.  According to leading experts the increase in inter-racial marriages and relationships  will, in the future, lead to a significant rise in the number of children born to parents of different nationalities 

As is true for all relationships, a statistically significant number of these marriages or partnerships will also end in divorce.       All too often, following the breakup of a marriage, one of the parents will abduct a child of that relationship against the wishes of the other parent,  frequently removing them to a country where the child has probably never lived.    – This is called “International Parental Child Abduction”.

Although there are various civil remedies available to  parents of abducted children , the challenges they face are enormous, including first and foremost, locating  the child .

Unfortunately for the majority of targeted parents, the financial burden involved in recovery and litigation falls upon their shoulders. With tens of thousands of children abducted by parents each year, the reality is that too many of these children never come home.  ABP World Group is dedicated to assisting those parents who need help in locating, rescuing, and returning  their abducted child home safely.

Our intelligence and investigative capabilities combined with our ability to dispatch personnel to most locations in the world offer a safe and strategic solution to protecting what is most important to you : your child.

Unfortunately in this present climate parental kidnapping  occurs all too frequently and we are here to help you through this extremely traumatic  period.

We are aware that parental child abduction can be difficult to resolve, but through the use of professional operatives with the skills and expertise necessary to find a resolution. we are here to help you.

ABP World Group’s successful recovery and re-unification strategy relies on the use of all the means available  including, but not limited to:

Electronic Forensic Foot printing Investigations

Intelligence Gathering

Information Specialists/Skip Tracing

Evidence Procurement

Interview/Evaluation

Surveillance Special Ops

Non-Combatant Evacuation Ops

Domestic Support

International Operations

Maritime/Land/Air transport

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Conversations With America: International Parental Child Abductions


U.S. Special Advisor to the Secretary for International Children’s Susan Jacobs holds a conversation with President and CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Ernie Allen on International Parental Child Abductions from the Department of State in Washington, D.C. on May 2, 2012. The conversation was moderated by Deputy Assistant Secretary Cheryl Benton. [Go to http://video.state.gov for more video and text

Watch the video here: Conversations With America: International Parental Child Abductions

Also Read; The Hague Convention proven useless

 

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Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Services
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Hundreds of children involved in bitter custody battles are being abducted and taken abroad


Source: Daily mail

Hundreds of children involved in bitter custody battles are being abducted and taken abroad, a report revealed yesterday.

Immigration and the rising number of families where at least one parent has links to another country are behind a fast-rising number of international disputes.

In 2007 there were 27 children caught up in such cases but this is expected to rise to 240 this year.

65 per cent of children born in London in 2010 have one foreign parent. It is when these couples split that messy custody battles, across different countries can take place

The leap comes despite the introduction by Tony Blair of child passports. Labour said that making every child have its own travel document would stop parents taking children abroad in defiance of court orders.

The figures emerged in a report by Lord Justice Thorpe, chief of the Office of the Head of International Family Justice. The body was set up in 2005 to try to ensure that courts in Britain and abroad work together when one parent flees with a child either from or to Britain.

The Appeal judge said: ‘Sixty-five per cent of children born in London in 2010 had a least one foreign parent. These figures illustrate the potential for significant future growth in international family litigation.’

The report is by Lord Justice Thorpe, who heads up the Office of International Family JusticeThe report is by Lord Justice Thorpe, who heads up the Office of International Family Justice

He added: ‘The tendency of dangerous parents to bolt when social services are exercising legitimate protective powers is all too common.’

In Europe most cases involve children taken to or from Germany and Poland, the report said. It cited one case in which two Polish children were taken from their home and brought to England by their father and uncle.

Within four days of their arrival they were taken into police protection having been found in a makeshift shelter near live train tracks.

The report said communications between English and Polish social workers had broken down, and ‘it was proving difficult to establish who had jurisdiction in the matter, whether the children should be returned to Poland and under what conditions’.

It added: ‘We are seeing a rising number of these types of cases, mostly involving Eastern European countries.’

The report said Lord Justice Thorpe’s organisation tries to act as a ‘help desk for judges and lawyers at home and abroad who have seen their cases stalled and delayed because two countries’ legal systems are involved and when international conventions guaranteeing children’s rights are being flouted by overseas courts’.

Italy and Poland have no judge that British authorities can talk to. The report also complained of difficulties dealing with courts in India, Egypt and Mexico. However it praised swift communications with judges in Germany, Australia, Nigeria and the U.S.

Yesterday’s figures show the main effect of child passports has been to bring in big fees for the Treasury. A child passport costs £49.

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International child flee cases on increase


Source: BBC

Cases of a parent fleeing with their children to a different country are on the increase, a report has said.

 

Head of International Family Justice for England and Wales, Lord Justice Thorpe, said most instances involved eastern European countries.

His office dealt with 180 cases last year compared with 27 in 2007.

The Office of the Head of International Family Justice intervenes in disputes over children, such as custody, when the parents are in different countries.

 

It helps judges and lawyers when cases have stalled because two countries’ legal systems are involved and when international conventions on children’s rights are being flouted by overseas courts.

The International Family Justice annual report said there were 27 cases in 2007, 92 in 2010 and 180 in 2011.

Lord Justice Thorpe said: “The tendency of dangerous parents to bolt when social services are exercising legitimate protective powers is all too common.

“We are seeing a rising number of these types of cases being referred to the office, mostly involving eastern European countries.”

Makeshift shelter

The senior judge said that with almost two-thirds of children born in London in 2010 having a foreign parent there was “the potential for significant future growth” in cases.

Sharon Cooke from the international child abduction charity, Reunite, said the increasing ease of travel was a factor in the rise in case numbers.

“People are relocating, their jobs take them abroad and therefore the chances of meeting different people are greater,” she said.

“There’s a mixed national marriage and they decide to relocate back to England perhaps, or back to another country and unfortunately the relationship may fail and then one party brings the child to another country.”

As an example the report cited the case of two children brought unlawfully from Poland and found living in a makeshift shelter near live railway tracks in England.

They came to the UK with their father and uncle despite social services in Poland having a care order for the children.

In this case a breakdown in communications between English and Polish social services meant it was disputed whether or how the children should be returned to Poland.

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Parental Child Abduction: American Father Fights to Bring Children Home From Egypt


Source: abcnews

Colin Bower said he still remembers the shock and horror he felt during a phone call he received in August of 2009. A male caller informed him that his children had been taken to Egypt, Bower says, and that if he made any attempts to contact authorities, he would never see them again.

He was supposed to pick up his two boys, Noor and Ramsay, 9 and 7 at the time, from a scheduled visit in Boston with their mother, Mirvat El Nady, Bower says. A U.S. judge had granted him sole legal custody after the couple’s divorce in 2008, and El Nady, a British and Egyptian citizen, had limited visitation. Those restrictions, Bower says, along with findings in the divorce proceedings raising doubts about her truthfulness, angered El Nady and prompted the kidnapping.

Bower, a financial consultant from Boston, said he later learned that El Nady had taken the children to John F. Kennedy airport in New York, purchased one-way tickets to Cairo with cash, and allegedly used Egyptian passports with false identities to get the boys past security and onto an EgyptAir flight.

Bower has sued the airline, alleging they failed to pick up on serious red flags: the boys’ surnames did not match their mother’s and the boys’ passports had no U.S. entry visas. Barry Pollack, who is representing Bower in the case, says EgyptAir should have safeguards in place for potential abduction cases.

“Airlines have every right to require the parents to show dual parental consent forms to prove that the adult has the right to take that child overseas,” Pollack told ABC News.

EgyptAir declined to comment specifically on the lawsuit. Just last month, lawyers for the airline filed a motion asking that the suit be dismissed. Regarding parental consent forms, their motion argues that EgyptAir is only required to review passports and that “airlines simply do not have the manpower required to track down and contact non-traveling parents to discuss their children’s travel.”

The motion for dismissal also cited a recent report on international child abductions by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The report, which says the annual number of cases of abductions reported has tripled since 2000, suggests that airlines “do not have the authority to verify or enforce court and custody orders in an effort to prevent international parental child abductions.”

Instead, the report states, that responsibility belongs to the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Bower says that’s letting airlines off the hook.

“The GAO report clearly represents the interests of the airlines, not the safety of the passengers or their children,” Bower said. “This should absolutely terrify every parent.”

In response to an email from ABC News, the GAO said, “The report does not state that airlines have no responsibility to check identifications, nor was it intended to suggest that airlines are prohibited from requesting verified or certified copies of custody orders in order to prevent child abductions. …The report makes a general statement which was intended to reflect the distinction between the role and authority of the courts, law enforcement officials, federal agencies, and private sector entities such as the airlines.”

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